• Last modified 499 days ago (May 14, 2020)


Liberty or death?

To the editor:

Last week Larry Ensey wrote an impassioned appeal for restoration of his “liberty” that was published in the Marion County Record and at least four other newspapers across the state of Kansas.

With that kind of coverage he may emerge as a leader of an “Open Up Kansas” movement and perhaps rally in Topeka to challenge the governor’s orders.

We had an “Open Up Wisconsin” rally here in Madison on April 24 that was well attended by more than 1,000, with plenty of semi-automatic rifles, confederate flags, Trump banners, and angry folks standing close to each other without masks.

It was reported yesterday that 72 persons tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after attending the large event. That is not alarming since it is less than 10% of the attendees, unless not everyone has been tested yet or is not showing signs of infection.

Without any leadership at the top, state governors have had to step in to follow guidelines that originate from the Centers for Disease Control.

This week dear leader Trump shelved a CDC set of guidelines for opening up the country, saying they would not see the “light of day.”

With no flattening of the increase of virus diagnoses, a daily increase in virus deaths and testing and contact tracing still deficient, the dear leader is determined to open up the economy, and we will all weather the consequences while we wait for a vaccine.

When I left St. Luke Hospital in 2002 after 20 years as plant operations supervisor, the hospital had two ICU beds and two ventilators but with the designation of being a “critical care” facility.

I do not know if that capability still exists. Marion County is not immune to the COVID-19 virus and could experience an outbreak. How many critically ill patients could St. Luke Hospital treat now?

I have a personal fear of the pandemic with my daughter, Eliza, an obstetrician and gynecologist on the staff of a hospital here in Madison. She does not have the choice of exposure to COVID-19 and will do what is required to care for her patients and to protect herself.

I would offer this bit of advice to Larry Ensey: Chill, take a long walk around the ranch, enjoy the company of your wife, and accept that science doesn’t always adhere to our perceived exceptionalism.

Harry E. Bennett
Madison, Wisconsin

Last modified May 14, 2020